Conservation implications of the genetic diversity of Gymnospermium microrrhynchum in Korea.
Zelkova schneideriana is endemic to China and belongs to the Ulmaceae. It is listed as a Near Threatened species in the China Biodiversity Red Data Book. We conducted a phylogeographical study of two chloroplast regions (psbA-trnH and trnG-trnM) in several Chinese Z. schneideriana populations, in order to examine the genetic diversity, population structure, and evolutionary history of the species. In all, 10 haplotypes were detected. The population from Sangzhi, Hunan, had the highest nucleotide diversity (π = 0.00653) and haplotype diversity (HD = 1.000), and should be considered the most suitable population to be protected under an in situ conservation strategy. Seed collections from as many individuals as possible in other populations would preserve the genetic diversity of Z. schneideriana.